SINGAPORE: A man who subjected his girlfriend to abuse over four days, whipping her 40 times with a cane and making her kneel on lighters, was sentenced to seven months' jail on Friday (Jul 12).
The 25-year-old cannot be named due to a gag order preventing the publication of any information that might identify the 22-year-old victim.
The man, who was then unemployed but has since found a job as a GrabFood rider, pleaded guilty to three charges of voluntarily causing hurt, insulting the woman's modesty and threatening to harm her family.
Another five charges were taken into consideration.
The court heard that the incident occurred after the accused thought his girlfriend had cheated on him. On Mar 28 last year, the woman was at his home as she had planned to stay with him that night.
When she changed her mind and decided to go home, the man did not allow her to leave. He began accusing her of cheating on him, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ang Sok Chen.
"He then demanded the victim to strip naked and told the victim that he wanted to take her naked pictures since she wanted to be a slut," said the prosecutor.
The man said he would harm her family members unless she stripped and let him take photos of her naked body.
WOMAN WAS SLAPPED, PUNCHED AND CANED
Fearing for her family's safety, the woman took off her clothes and allowed her boyfriend to take photos of her. The man did so, before threatening to disseminate the pictures if she did not listen to him in future.
He then hit her on her face with his phone, before demanding that she kneel, with one lighter on each knee.
He threatened to kill her family if she did not comply, the court heard. While the woman was kneeling, her boyfriend started to use a cane to hit her arms and thigh.
He told her to pick between two options: To let him continue to cane her, or he would go to her house to "make a mess".
The woman chose the first option as she feared for the safety of her family. The man instructed her to lie on his bed and remove her shorts and underwear.
He then used a 69cm-long rattan cane and whipped her buttocks several times. The woman counted the whips in her head, which numbered about 40.
In the time that the woman was at her boyfriend's home, she was slapped multiple times on her face as well as punched on her chest, stomach, shoulder and arm.
Her mother made a police report on the night of Mar 31, 2018. The woman sought medical treatment at Singapore General Hospital, where doctors found a 3cm-long cane mark on her thigh, a bruise measuring 2cm by 2cm on her right buttock and three smaller bruises on her left.
She was given three days of medical leave, and the medical report stated that the findings were consistent with a history of physical assault.
MAN SUFFERS FROM PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER, BUT NO LINK TO OFFENCE
The man was taken to the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric assessment, where he was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder and borderline personality traits.
However, the doctor said his psychiatric disorder had no substantial contributory link to his offences.
The prosecution asked for at least seven months' jail, saying that the abuse was premeditated and intended to humiliate or hurt the victim.
There was also a breach of trust as they were in a relationship, but the victim wound up being abused and hurt by her boyfriend.
He had also used "a weapon in the form of a cane", said the prosecutor, and the victim feared for the safety of her family and sustained physical injuries even though they were just abrasions and bruises.
The man's lawyer said he had spoken to his client and his client's family and they would allow the court to decide on the sentence.
He asked for a deferment of the sentence, as the accused had recently acquired a job as a GrabFood rider and accepted some advance orders.
He requested the deferment in order to settle these orders along with some personal matters.
District Judge Jasvender Kaur said what she found significant was the motivation behind the man's behaviour - which is that he wanted to ensure the victim's compliance with his demands.
She said the IMH report, while stating that the man suffered from a disorder, showed that his condition had no substantial link to the offences.
She granted the man a deferment of sentence to Jul 31.